Category Archives: TV

Top 10 Biggest Design Flaws In The U.S.S. Enterprise

Top 10 Biggest Design Flaws In The U.S.S. Enterprise

Star Trek broke new ground by having a spaceship without fins and rockets, and by consulting with the RAND Corp. on its design. And the Enterprise is indeed a beauty. But the Federation’s coolest starship isn’t flawless, by any means. Here are the 10 biggest design flaws in the U.S.S. Enterprise by Charlie Jane Anders and Diana Biller

10. Separate Phaser Firing Room

In the episode “Balance of Terror,” we discover that there’s a separate phaser firing room, where the crew sit around waiting for the order to fire phasers to come from the bridge. “Funny, I thought that’s what that little red button was for,” says Mark A Altman, the writer/producer ofFree Enterprise and co-author of the upcoming oral history Star Trek: The Fifty Year Mission. Obviously, having a separate control room for phasers presents some severe problems — what if communication breaks down with the bridge? And indeed, this control room was never seen again.

Top 10 Biggest Design Flaws In The U.S.S. Enterprise

Continue reading Top 10 Biggest Design Flaws In The U.S.S. Enterprise

Thin people don’t just eat differently to fat people. They live completely different lives – One of the biggest lies about obesity is that it’s simply about eating too much and not doing enough exercise – problems are often far deeper rooted

if-your-best-friend-becomes-obese-you-have-a-57-chance-of-becoming-obese-tooBY HELEN LEWIS PUBLISHED 1 SEPTEMBER, 2014 – 10:12

This summer, I’ve spent the parliamentary recess reading improving books, learning Mandarin and nominating my celebrity friends to do the ice-bucket challenge. No, wait – of course I haven’t. Like most people, I’ve responded to having more free time by filling it with reality television.

My particular favourite is an American import called Obese: a Year to Save My Life. In the show, Chris Powell – a personal trainer who looks like a cross between a thigh muscle and a televangelist – takes on patients who need to lose half their body weight. On the whole, over the course of a year, they do. And as I’ve watched more of the programme, I’ve become convinced that behind the blindingly white teeth and unnervingly chirpy demeanour, Chris Powell is a stone-cold genius, and possibly even the man to save the NHS.

One of the biggest lies about obesity is that it’s simply about eating too much and not doing enough exercise. It’s instructive to note how, when people talk about the subject in public, often the person faux-innocently asking, “Why not just eat a bit less, then?” is carrying a little extra padding, too. The stark fact is that most of us are fat: two-thirds of Britons are overweight or obese.

That’s because our society conspires against us and our best intentions. Outside the big cities, a car is a necessity; soon you hop into it for even the shortest trip to the shops. We sit, or stand, still for hours at work. Our bodies, which evolved to savour sugar and fat as rare and precious sources of nutrition, are overwhelmed by fizzy drinks and junk food. Even as we get more puritan about alcohol, food remains the drug it is socially acceptable to consume in public: where a previous generation might have had a drinks tray in the corner office, we have a packet of Hobnobs in the desk drawer.

The truth is that thin people don’t just eat differently from fat people. They live differently. The morbidly obese need to raze their life to rubble and build it again from scratch. On Obese: a Year to Save My Life, the subjects take three months off work to concentrate on their exercise routine. The production crew goes through their cupboards, chucking out the crisps and doughnuts and filling them with whole grains and fruit and vegetables. They get classes in cooking healthy food that tastes of something (lemon juice and chilli are usually involved). Their living rooms are filled with treadmills and free weights. In some cases, their families sign a “contract” to support them. If they reach their target weight, they are given skin removal surgery – so they aren’t dragging round six square feet of the person they used to be.

extreme-makeover-weight-loss-edition

Even taking into account the inevitable behind-the-scenes manipulation that goes on – this is American reality TV, after all – the results are extraordinary. But what consistently surprises me is why the people involved in the show became obese. For some, the weight crept on after a divorce, or the death of a child, or a bout of depression. For others, being overweight is part of a general feeling of lack of control over the course of their lives. One episode followed Jacqui McCoy, who went from 25 to 11 stone and who started overeating when she was raped at the age of 14. As part of the year-long transformation, many of those trying to lose weight speak to a therapist, and that must be one reason for the programme’s success.

Continue reading Thin people don’t just eat differently to fat people. They live completely different lives – One of the biggest lies about obesity is that it’s simply about eating too much and not doing enough exercise – problems are often far deeper rooted

A (very) different view of the recently ended TV series ‘Breaking Bad’

download“Breaking Bad”: White supremacist fable? – The series is just the latest Hollywood offering to get the drug trade wrong – and provide a dicey racial narrative MALCOLM HARRIS, THE NEW INQUIRY

This piece was originally posted on The New Inquiry.

If you judged by TV and movies alone, you’d think “pure” drugs were seeping out of American society’s every pore, along with hot doctors and secret agents gone rogue. Even if suburban 15-year-olds don’t ask their dealers for THC percentages after seeing Oliver Stone’s Savages — and smart money says some of them are — craft beer isn’t the only boutique intoxicant buzzing around the nation’s subconscious. In the shadow of the high-fructose-corn-syrup backlash, everyone from the Olive Garden to the proverbial Brooklyn popsicle startup is trying to cash in on craftsmanship. Meanwhile, screenwriters (clever advertisers in their own right) have found that the easiest way to hook viewers on drug-dealer protagonists is to sell crack as small-batch artisanal rock cocaine.

The New Inquiry Would AMC’s Breaking Bad be as popular if high school chemist turned meth cook Walter White made an average product instead of his “99 percent pure” blue glass? From the pilot on, the quality of White’s output has driven the show’s narrative arc. As a careful midgrade cook with DEA connections, he could have flown under the radar in a community overrun with the stuff and taken care of his chemo costs and family just fine. But what makes White more attractive than your garden-variety tweaker to both international cartels and viewers alike is his craftsmanship and attention to detail. He brings class to the New Mexico meth scene. Continue reading A (very) different view of the recently ended TV series ‘Breaking Bad’

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